The desert is a very unforgiving place to be in as it’s one of the most uninhabitable places on the entire planet. Yet somehow, life still thrives in the sands despite the harsh odds. For a band to embody such harsh conditions and translate that into a set of strings and beats takes quite the imagination. Doom is probably the best vessel of metal to deliver such a punch, and the relatively newer act of Stondar manages to take the concept to a phenomenal degree.
The only band before today that I’ve known to perfectly take the idea of the dry landscape to wondrous heights was the instrumental drone/doom metal duo of Canyon of the Skull. Oddly enough, the second group to bring the desert to a metal record brilliantly well is yet another instrumental doom metal duo, and this time it comes in the form of Stondar and the group’s self-titled record. I think it’s safe to say that an instrumental piece is the best way to perform a desert themed record because there are no words to describe leagues of shifting dunes and the immense task is it to simply survive in such a land. Stondar brings a flavor of sludge metal into the mix, however, and that brings in an even greater sense of heaviness to this seven track album that has so many things that one could ask for from a doom metal record of almost any kind. Each song is constantly moving, yet at a slower pace that one would expect from this style and Stondar really brings out the best of what could possibly be done as these classic tropes of doom are used to great success with this album, and Stondar aren’t afraid to show that they understand doom metal quite a bit. That then translates into this dry and unforgivingly crunchy record that really tantalizing the sense if you have the patience to wait for the heaviness to go into full effect and the riffs to reach their most potent.
This is but the second piece that Stondar has put out in their short time as a band, and I couldn’t be more intrigued. This self-titled piece demonstrates the awesome understanding of doom that Stondar has attained and the skill that they’ve got to pull it all off marvelously well. I can’t wait to see what else this duo can pull out, and be it desert themed or not I’d be more than happy to go wherever they lead.
LISTEN to “Stondar” on Bandcamp here or in full via YouTube below.
LIKE Stondar on Facebook here.